Biomass has been used as fuel for tens of thousands of years, however great strides have been made in recent decades. There are now a variety of methods for converting biomass into heat and electricity, from pellets for household heating to waste used to produce electricity in commercial power plants.
Biomass fuel, is classed as ‘organic materials produced in a renewable manner’, and can include woody fuels, forestry residues, agricultural residue, chemical recovery fuels and dry animal manure to name a few.
Energy plants store fuel in a bunker before being transported to a boiler. Once in the boiler, it is used to heat water to a high temperature whilst under pressure. Steam from the boiler powers the turbine, which is connected to a generator.
Steam that has passed through the turbine heats district heating water, which is distributed through the district heating network’s piping.
The recently commissioned £100m Ince biomass energy plant located at Protos Park, Cheshire will use ‘Advanced Conversion Technology’ to process up to 170,000 tonnes per year of recovered waste wood. The plant will produce enough energy to power around 40,000 homes over its anticipated 25 year lifespan.
The facility is expected to save around 65,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the equivalent to taking 40,000 cars off the road each year.
Powervamp became involved with this high profile eco installation when contacted by the Ince biomass project engineer, having been recommended by a satisfied high-profile Powervamp customer based in Cumbria.
The project team carried out a site visit which resulted in the Effekta Range ‘EF33 ELI‘, 30kVA output, being specified as the most suitable inverter for the application.
Due to the limited manpower employed in that particular part of the plant, the client requested a 2 hour battery backup, (10 year life), to comply with the BS EN 50171 regulations. The regulation specifies the general requirements for central power supply systems for an independent energy supply to essential safety equipment.
In the event of a power failure, the ‘Effekta Range‘ emergency lighting central battery system switches over to battery power. Not only must the lighting be restored seamlessly, but the emergency system must also be able to maintain an acceptable lux level (brightness) for long enough to allow people to leave the premises safely. Under UK law, there is an obligation for public buildings to be equipped with emergency lighting.
Due to the proposed electrical design, the client required a high fault clearance, meaning the unit had to be capable of tripping a 50A C Type circuit breaker within the specified time. This unusually high fault current can be difficult to achieve, and is seldom offered by competitors through off-the-shelf products. Powervamp has the ability to offer bespoke emergency lighting products for any application.
The service team completed the prelimiary installation towards the end of 2017, which also included a bespoke SNMP, (simple network management protocol), module to allow the existing lighting controls to integrate with the new EF33 ELI unit. The team also completed the battery build, which included the assembling of a flat-pack cladded stand as well as the installation of 40 x 150Ah front terminal batteries, weighing around 2 tons.
The project team are currently awaiting the completion of work by the on-site electrical contractor before returning for the final commissioning.
The increase in general enquiries for the Effekta Range of emergency lighting central battery systems from recommendations is testament to the consistent high standard of work delivered by Powervamp, and once again reiterates the importance of our technical knowledge and customer support.